Time

In my younger days (I write those words and feel very old) I often felt that life will happen to you whether or not you’re actively doing anything about it, and in a sense it does. Life will continue around you, even if you decide to simply sit on a chair in the middle. However, as I get older I have realised that life is so much more fun if you take an active part and you make time for everything. It is so easy to say I would love to go travelling across the Himalayas but I just don’t have the time. Or I would love to write that book, if I only have time. But here’s my point: you have the time, if you take it.

I’m trying to become a master scheduler of my own time and there are certain times during the year when I will switch off every ‘must’ and actively take the time. Christmas is one of those periods. I go home to my parents house, I redirect my work email and I try my best to just live for the moment for a few weeks and spend it with my family and friends from home.

Another such day is coming up this weekend. A friend and I have our birthdays fairly close together and even if I have a million things to catch up on I will take the time to have a birthday dinner together, to eat and drink in excess and just celebrate that we are a year older. It is so easy once you get past a certain age, to say that my birthday is nothing special, nothing to celebrate, I’m no longer a child. But it is special if you make it special and rather celebrating that I am one year older, I celebrate that I have lived another year and will continue (god willing) to live another year after that.

But I need to schedule that time, or it won’t happen. No one else will take that time out for me.

Posted in Life, Misc | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cheating in reading

Can you cheat when reading a book for pleasure?

The topic came up recently with my flat mates when one of them commented on how many books I get through. I explained that I read more than one book at the same time, so it looks like I’m reading more and their reply was ‘cheater.’

The comment kind of stopped me in my tracks. I never felt that I was cheating, by reading more than one book at the same time. It is not like reading for pleasure is a competition. It is simply different ways of reading a book.

Is the person compulsively reading the last page of a book before the first a cheater? If you put down a book before you get to the end, does that make you a cheater?

For a school assignment, basing your essay on Pride and Prejudice simply on Cliffnotes might make you a cheater, or at least it will be up to your teacher to judge you on that. But when reading for my pleasure only, it should not matter how I go about it. I love reading and I will leave it at that.

So share with me. How do you read? Not because I want to prove you right or wrong, but because I want to celebrate reading in any shape, form or speed.

temporary-bookshelf

Some of my books currently stuffed in my wardrobe while I sort out a better bookshelf for them

Posted in Life, reading | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Art of Chaos

I’m a very messy person, which anyone who has tried to enter my room can attest to. I work best if I am surrounded by what I’m currently working on. I often have piles of notes everywhere, that I know I will need some day.

It is a rare occasion when my desk look this tidy (and to some it may not look tidy).

clean-desk

This is as close to tidy my desk will get

I managed this after several hours of cleaning and organising and at the end of it, I still only have enough space for my laptop. This was my great effort when I came back after Christmas and felt I had enough with the messiness. I kept this for about a week, then my desk went back to looking like its normal self, where I have to balance my laptop on top of piles of papers and I have to dig through another pile just to get to my printer.

 

messy-desk

Notice the piles on the floor as well…

The interesting thing is that people who meet me in a professional capacity, often see me as an organised person, which in a way is true. I’m really good at presenting myself organised, coming well prepared to meetings etc. And I have an organised mind, I always think of my brain as a tidy archive filled with labelled boxes. It is just my physical surroundings that are messy.

Posted in Life, writing | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A-Z changes – I’m still planning!

Today there have been a big announcement over at the A-Z blog on how the event is going to be run this year. As a newbie the changes doesn’t bother  me so much, probably because I’m still experimenting with how I participate in the challenge.

I joined last year’s challenge and really enjoyed it and as soon as the end of April was hooked and started to plan for this year’s challenge. I can’t get away from my love of planning. I’m really looking forward to April and take you with me on my journey.

Look out for my big theme reveal on March 20.

Posted in writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Guilty Pleasure

Building on the no excuses in last week’s post, I do feel that I tried to paint myself in a better picture, so to balance it out, here comes some guilty pleasures that I would have to think twice about giving up in accordance with my new year’s resolution to consume less. These are things I need to think about during this year, to improve upon.

Picking up coffee from a coffee shop rather than make it at home

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – and lots of it

Flying to Sweden at least twice per year

Buying hair products, soaps, bath bombs etc from LUSH – better for the environment but not for the wallet, and it is so delicious I definitely over consume.

And lastly the one thing I could keep…

Leisurely sleep-ins on Sunday mornings, followed by a long breakfast and reading time

Posted in Life, Misc | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

For every excuse a new strategy

A new challenge for me this year, is to tackle my writing problems straight on to find the best solutions. Out of necessity, this is what I do every day in my working life, but for some reason when it comes to my writing I am a master of procrastination, which I think is one of the reasons I have never finished a project I am completely pleased with.

In other words, I will try to make 2017 a year where I approach my writing with a bit more professionalism with the goal of feeling more satisfied with my final output.

The headline ‘For every excuse a new strategy’ will be my motto and I will try my best to stick to it. I found this at some point and felt it was important enough to write down, but not important enough at the time to adhere to. But this is the year!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Writing Processes

As I mentioned in my new year’s writing goals post, this year I’m mainly focusing on my old NaNoWriMo novels.

After completing the challenge in November, most people end up with what one fellow Wrimo called draft 0.5, i.e. not even a first draft. The more I look at my previous NaNoWriMo attempts, the more I agree with him. It is definitely more of words on paper/screen that vaguely fit together than a coherent first draft ready to be edited. It has taken my quite a few years to get this insight.

The project I’ve gotten the furthest on, was the first NaNoWriMo novel I even considered edit once it was complete. After further editing stages I sent it out to agents, where the closest I got a to a positive response was an encouraging letter that wasn’t worded like a standard response. Since then I enrolled on to an editing course and quickly found all faults with the novel. I then put it to the side, convinced I did not have the tools to find the solutions to the quite predictable manuscript I had written.

But as often these things pan out, once I stopped fretting about it, a solution to the largest plot hole came to me and I decided to give the novel one last chance. The response to the first bit, has been positive. I came runner up in a crimes and thriller competition for the first chapter, which spurred me on to continue tackle the story. In the first couple of months this year, I hope to have finished the complete re-write and once again send it out to agents, this time with a bit more confidence that it is my best attempt.

My second project for the year, ended November in the waste basked sooner than I could press the winner’s button. I left the idea in the fun but not successful experience pile. But the story would just not leave me alone. The theme, women in power and the environment are too interesting to give up on. I had to do something about the words on the screen though as they were only loosely held together by these themes. The biggest issue as I saw it was the plot, that put me to sleep. There was no conflict, simply things happening to the two main characters. I then decided to not even look at the draft, but keep the theme, while re-writing the plot line. I hope to be able to write the whole story again before November this year when I will once again tackle a new NaNoWriMo project.

My last project for the year is to look through my most recent NaNoWriMo attempt and see if there is even a smidgen of the idea left that I first had. That is as much as I would want to do with it this year.

What does your writing year look like? Any big projects to finish? Or are you working on something smaller this year?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing goals and resolutions

Every year I try to set up writing goals for myself, to make sure I stay on track and keep on top of things. Publishing them here makes them a bit more official. Knowing that they are here on the blog in black and white usually helps me to stick to them more.

So here they are, my writing goals for this year:

– to try harder to find solutions to problems

– to finish re-writes of Escape and send out to agents again

– to re-write entire Women Rules novel based on new outline

– to read through and make a decision on last year’s NaNoWriMo draft

I do also give a new year’s resolution each year, but to me these are more personal tasks that I want to accomplish, often these are less tangible to see the result of and is more a matter of how I feel throughout the year.

This year I endeavour to consume less and think more about what I can do to improve climate change. It is an issue that is very close to my heart and a world issue that worries me greatly.

Posted in inspiration, Life, writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Five FIRSTS to start the new year

The FIRST story I ever wrote was a blatant rip off of my favourite Christmas book ‘Hemma hos jultomten’ by Mauri Kunnas (At home with Santa Claus – my translation)

The FIRST proper novel I finished was a historical novel partly based in Hawai’i, my first NaNoWriMo project back in 2007. The novel is now lost on a floppy disk somewhere (perhaps for the better).

The FIRST memory I have of wanting to become a writer, was when during school holidays I typed my stories on the typewriter at my mum’s job and everyone seemed excited and wanted to read what I wrote. I think that even then I was reluctant to show my writing to anyone though.

The FIRST poem I ever wrote was a rhyme about summer and the small boat we used to own. It was a class assignment in year one.

The FIRST novel I dared to show anyone is now undergoing a major re-write and this is the year to finish it!

Feel free to share some of your FIRSTS!

Posted in inspiration, Life, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays!

xmas-greeting

 

Happy Holidays and God Jul everyone. I am taking a couple of weeks off to spend with my family. My sister will be joining me here for a couple of days, then we will go back to Sweden to see my parents.

I see you all in the new year.

red-snowman

Posted in Life, Misc | Tagged , | 1 Comment